An Energy Performance Certificate is legally required whenever a house is bought, sold or rented. Designed to provide interested parties with a detailed review of the energy efficiency of a property, the certificate gives homes a rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).
Current energy prices remain far higher than they were a year ago, despite recent good news with regards to the energy price cap. Homeowners are, as a result, still having to be very careful about how they use energy.
While it’s possible to cut energy usage within the home, the best way to save on energy is through improving the energy efficiency of the building as a whole. And that’s why the energy efficiency rating of a property is so important.
Legislative changes regarding Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are set to come into force soon, too. Under current government proposals, by 2025 all new lettings will require a rating of C or above. The same rule will apply to continuing tenancies from 2028.
Ensuring that your property has a good EPC rating isn’t just beneficial from an environmental perspective. It could also save you huge amounts of money in your energy bills, while also making the property more attractive to potential buyers should you choose to sell it in the future. But what does it take to improve your EPC rating, and how much do these improvements actually cost? We decided to find out.
For this study, we used government data to calculate the percentage of properties that have an EPC rating of D or below, in each region of the UK. The team went on to explore what the potential cost implications would be of improving these ratings, using data gathered from a number of sources, as detailed below.
So, what’s the price of a top EPC rating – and how do you get one? Read on and we’ll reveal all.
The Price of Improving Your EPC Rating
Taking into account data from a variety of different sources, we were able to calculate the average cost of improving a property’s EPC rating.
On average, a homeowner would need to spend up to around £31,225 to make all the necessary changes to improve a property’s EPC rating. This includes changes to lighting, installing double or triple window glazing, boiler upgrades, roof and wall insulation and new additions such as underfloor heating and the installation of a smart metre.
Where are EPC improvements most needed?
There are properties crying out for better energy efficiency all over the UK, but some regions have more homes in need of attention than others.
Analysis shows a clear North/South divide in terms of energy efficiency, with a far greater percentage of homes located in the North of the country in need of urgent EPC improvements.
We found that In Yorkshire and The Humber, 64% of properties have an EPC rating of D to G, which suggests that owners and landlords in this area would need to invest up to £31,225 in improvements to insulation, window glazing and heating systems.
The situation isn’t much better in the West Midlands, where 62% of properties fall into this bracket, and would require similar amounts of financial investment to improve their EPC ratings. And in both the North West and the East Midlands, 6 out of 10 properties are rated between D and G, putting them in urgent need of energy efficiency investment.
The best regions in terms of energy efficiency are London, where we can report that 53% of homes are rated D-6, and 86% of homes have a C-G rating. Similarly, in the South East 56% of properties fall into the D-G bracket, while 87% are more energy efficient and rated between C to G.
The region with the greatest number of properties with the top EPC rating of ‘A’ is the South West. Our analysis has shown that there are 9,802 A rated properties in this area. The South West is closely followed by the South East, where there are 8,588 A rated properties recorded, and the East of England, which is home to 8,299 properties with the top EPC rating. By contrast, the region with the lowest number of A rated properties is the North West, where there are 4,270 properties with an EPC rating of A.
The cost breakdown
The average price of a better EPC rating has been calculated taking a number of variable factors into account. While it gives us an idea of what the cost of improving energy efficiency might be, it’s worth taking a closer look at the cost of the specific improvements that went into this calculation, to give us a better idea of what each of these upgrades might cost a homeowner.
LED light bulbs use 75% less energy and can last 25 times longer than more traditional incandescent lighting. And making the switch doesn’t have to cost the Earth. For the average home, the price of switching to LED lightbulbs is around £100
Nothing makes an impact on energy bills quite like insulation improvements, so of course the calculation takes upgrading a property’s insulation into account. Typically, the cost of insulating a roof is around £500, while walls will cost approximately £610 to insulate
Windows: £3,000 - £6,570
Replacement windows do come with a hefty price tag, but they too can make a huge difference to energy efficiency.
The price of upgrading windows depends on the size and style of a property, but you can expect to pay an average of £3,000 for a two-bed property, rising to an average of £6,570 for a four-bed home.
Modern boilers are designed with energy efficiency in mind. So, if your boiler hasn’t been changed for a number of years, you may well benefit from switching to a newer model. You can expect to pay £2,500 on average, but prices will vary depending on the size of your property and your specific requirements.
Underfloor Heating: £4,250
Installing underfloor heating isn’t a quick or simple job, but if you’re planning renovations it’s a great opportunity to get it installed. Underfloor heating costs an average of £4,250.
Renewable Energy: £10,000
If you have the space to install renewable energy sources on or around your property, it’s always a good idea to do so.
Consider installing solar panels or a ground source heat pump to dramatically reduce your energy bills and up that EPC rating.
Smart Metre: Free
Our final energy efficiency improvement won’t cost you a penny. Install a smart metre in your home to track your energy usage and learn about the energy consumption of different appliances.